The term “prosumer” is thrown around a lot when referring to high-end electronics and camera equipment, but this word also fits the Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZTX. It bridges the gap between residential mowers, which emphasize ease-of-use over durability, and professional mowers, which are too expensive for non-commercial buyers. The result is a ZTR that has comfort features that would be noteworthy on a commercial model, along with top-grade components and construction. However, you don’t have to spend commercial mower money to put one of these in your garage.
Professional Deck Quality, Consumer Deck Maintenance Requirements
All ZTX mowers come with a constructed deck made with 10 gauge steel. 7 gauge steel is used to make side wraps and a skid plate, adding reinforcement where you’re most likely to strike obstacles. This deck has a tall mowing chamber, sloped sides, and overlapping blade positioning to maximize vacuum. The result is a rugged deck that nearly matches the cut quality of a stamped deck. The blades mount to spindles with sealed bearings, making them maintenance-free. Anti-scalp wheels come standard.
The ZTX line is offered with 48, 54, and 60 inch wide decks. Cub Cadet says 48-inch deck mowers can tackle 4 to 9 acres, while 54 and 60-inch decks are good for lawns from 4 to 10 acres. If your lawn is near the top end of this size range, a larger deck will cut mowing time significantly.
These mowers come equipped with a foot-operated deck lift with a dial adjuster. This lets you lift the deck to go over curbs, then drop it back down to your preferred mowing height.
Built for Comfort
Cub Cadet builds the ZTX around a robot-welded tubular steel frame. It has a built-in bumper that surrounds the engine without getting in the way of maintenance. A ROPS bar protects the operator in the event of a rollover. This bar folds down, making it easier to store and transport.
The seat is mounted on isolators, and both the seat position and armrests are adjustable. A thick rubber mat covers the footplate, stopping one more source of vibration. The ZTX5 and ZTX6 also have suspension arms built into the front caster wheels. This softens bumps, keeping the deck planted for a better mowing finish.
Top Quality Engines
ZTX4 models come with Kohler 7000 engines. Based on the block used in their professional Command Pro, this engine doesn’t get the Pro’s high-end air filtration system. However, most of the features carry over intact, including their Consistent-Cut governor. It’s designed to help the engine react quickly to load changes, so blade speed doesn’t drop when you drive into a patch of thick grass.
ZTX5 models come with Kawasaki FR Series engines. Like the 7000, Kawasaki starts with a commercial engine, removing features to lower the price. Again, the main difference is the lack of a commercial-grade air box.
Want commercial-grade power? The ZTX6 uses the Kawasaki FX. This engine is one of the most popular choices in commercial ZTRs, ensuring a long service life in these residential mowers. Despite being the most powerful engine in the ZTX lineup, it’s only offered with 48 and 54-inch decks.
Cub Cadet equips the ZTX with Hydro-Gear ZT Series transaxles. These units combine the pump and drive motor into one unit, eliminating hoses. All three units are commercial grade and use an external oil filter for easy maintenance. Top speed for the mower depends on the transaxle model:
ZT 3100 – 8 MPH
ZT 3200 – 8.5 MPH
ZT 3400 – 9 MPH
All three have a reverse top speed of 3.5 MPH.
For the most part, the available accessories are what you’d expect for a mower like this. There’s a triple bagger kit for lawn clipping collection. The mulching kit comes with high lift blades and a deck plug to turn clippings into fine mulch. If you want a ballpark finish, you can add a lawn striping kit to roll the grass as you mow.
What you probably don’t expect is a 52-inch plow kit and tire chains. This makes the ZTX one of the few ZTRs on the market that can move snow.
Kohler and Kawasaki both guarantee their engines for three years. Cub Cadet guarantees the rest of the mower for four years or 500 hours of operation.
When You Think Mowers, Think Shank’s
Shank’s Lawn Equipment has helped professionals and homeowners with their lawn equipment for over 35 years. We carry mowers of all sizes from walk-behinds to ZTRs from several major brands, including Cub Cadet, Wright, and Exmark. Looking for parts, accessories, or repairs? Our service and parts departments can provide you with the support you need to keep your mower working. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories from us at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.